Poached Eggs in Red Wine Sauce

This recipe came from Robert Chassat, chef at Le Recamier in Paris. He makes a point of using eggs straight from the refrigerator (cold eggs hold their shape better while poaching), allotting two eggs per serving. (You may find one to be sufficient.) The wine will turn the eggs a rosy gray color, but it won't show when you serve the dish: The sauce is the perfect cover-up.

Poached Eggs in Red Wine Sauce
This classic Burgundian bistro dish is hard to find these days.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 14 lb. slab bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 12 lb. small white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 14 cups French red burgundy or other dry red wine
  • 1 cup demi-glace
  • 1 34 cups beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 4-8 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices bread, preferably pain brioche, crusts removed, lightly toasted
  • 4 sprigs fresh chervil

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, 7–10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel with a slotted spoon, then add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. In the same skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter; add shallots and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in carrots, thyme, and bay leaf and cook until carrots begin to brown, about 7 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high, add 2 cups wine, and cook until reduced by three-quarters, about 25 minutes. Add demi-glace and stock and cook, skimming frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; strain sauce through a fine sieve into a small saucepan. Combine flour and remaining butter in a small bowl, forming a paste. Whisk paste into sauce a little at a time, then simmer over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and keep sauce warm.
  4. Place remaining wine in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Poach eggs two at a time by cracking each egg into a saucer, then carefully slipping into wine. Poach until whites are firm and yolks just set, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a plate and cover with foil. Repeat process with remaining eggs.
  5. Add bacon and mushrooms to sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide bread between 4 plates, place one or two eggs on each piece, spoon sauce over, and serve garnished with chervil.